QP: They’re not cuts, they’re changes

With Members’ Statements getting rowdy before Question Period even started, Speaker Scheer warned, “let’s not have this again.” And really, we didn’t. QP was fairly listless overall. Thomas Mulcair started out reading a question on the $10 billion in cuts to Old Age Security, to which Harper said that no, there were no cuts but changes coming in 2023. Mulcair moved onto the topic of the Parliamentary Budget Officer not getting the information he requested, to which Harper responded that they wrote the Act that created the position, and they report that information to Parliament. Megan Leslie was up next wondering why it was that the FAQ page on about the Navigational Waters Act was pulled down from the government’s website, to which Lebel said that they were fixing “erroneous information” about that Act on the site. Down the memory hole it goes (excepting of course for Google cache and the Library and Archives Canada backup copy). Bob Rae was up next, asking if the changes to OAS were really worth it considering the negligible percentage of money that it affected, but Harper insisted it was all about future sustainability. For his final question, Rae asked why the government wasn’t prosecuting some HSBC tax evasion cases, to which Harper insisted that they don’t tolerate that behaviour, and that CRA was investigating.

Round two started off with Peter Julian demanding clarity for foreign takeover rules – while being mocked for quoting “anonymous sources,” while Hélène LeBlanc picked up on that question (Paradis: We made a decision in the best interest of Canada), before LeBlanc and Don Davies asked about the Canada-China FIPA (Fast: We now have a set of guidelines for dispute resolutions), Randall Garrison and Rosane Doré Lefebvre decried that there was no Cyber-security Action Plan™ (Toews: We’ve made progress on the file), and Christine Moore and Matthew Kellway asked what other fighters were under consideration to replace the CF-18s (Ambrose: Look at the makeup of the secretariat!). Stéphane Dion asked about the AG report’s discussion around not including provincial figures in fiscal planning (Flaherty: We respect their jurisdiction), Sean Casey wanted the cuts at Veterans Affairs restored (Blaney: The AG said we’ve taken the right steps and we’re cutting red tape!), and Wayne Easter disputed that the Canada-China FIPA would make trade more reciprocal (Fast: This agreement is a significant improvement). Alexandre Boulerice and Charlie Easter asked about the lobbying report on Julie Couillard (Poilievre and Saxton both responded with non-sequiturs), and Yvon Godin asked for more economic development for francophone communities (Gourde: We have a roadmap!).

Round three saw questions on navigable waters changes, cancelling our membership with the world Expo society, an independent review of CFIA, the Petronas rejection, a reiteration of the CMHC privatisation speculation, deporting foreign students who mistakenly took a job, and energy drinks that caused child deaths in the States.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for a dark grey pinstripe suit, with a light blue shirt and a blue patterned tie, and to Kellie Leitch for her pearl jacket with a white collared shirt. Style citations go out to Niki Ashton for an orange jacket with three-quarter sleeves, along with a white top and brown trousers, and to Nathan Cullen for a grey suit with a bright red shirt and black tie. Dishonourable mentions to Bal Gosal and Bev Shipley for black suits and yellow shirts and ties.